Dorothy Gastel, founder of Dorothy's Candies

How is Dorothy's Chocolate Made?

As soon as you open a box of Dorothy's hand-dipped chocolates, you can see and smell the difference! Whether you're purchasing Dorothy's for a chocolately gift, or smuggling them away for yourself, Dorothy's Swiss chocolate charm is unique in the world of chocolate.

We think you'll be absolutely captivated by our gourmet chocolates, as they reflect the care that each of our candymakers put into them. Each hand-dipped chocolate is one of a kind -- which makes every piece and every box a tiny bit different from every other. The difference in looking at machine made chocolates and looking at hand-dipped chocolates is like the difference between artificial and real flowers. Let's face it, both are good -- but one is definitely better!

All of the people who hand-dip Dorothy's chocolates were trained at Dorothy's -- with the most senior people, having been trained by Dorothy, herself. Dorothy was a perfectionist, who loved to decorate and adorn her life and everyone else's with ribbons, bows, rainbows, sweets, and all things good and beautiful. She was also a stickler for cleanliness. Today, we strive to maintain a store and premises that Dorothy would be proud of -- and we make a product good enough to bear her name.

Each of our chocolate dippers is trained to work at a piece of marble -- marble being the best surface for making hand-dipped gourmet chocolates. Our chocolatiers keeps a well of chocolate warm by swirling it to keep it moving, then dips the centers -- caramels -- cherries -- fudge nut -- and others. Each piece is expertly topped off with a curly cue that signals what's inside.

We make our fine gourmet chocolates on our premises in White Oak, Pa. When you come to visit, you won't see a lot of machines or hear a lot of mechanical noise -- just the happy chatter of our wonderful employees who work hard to make award winning, mouth watering chocolate. We can't help but think that this relaxed atmosphere makes for a much better way to make tasty confections. It takes us about three years to train each of our chocolatiers.

We make all of our own centers in Dorothy's kitchen, using many recipes devised by Dorothy, herself. Our centers are truly superb -- we use only fresh and real fruit. Nothing artificial about our berries, cherries and pineapple! Our nut chunks -- most are large pieces -- not mulched like the 'other' guys.

Here's another important distinction about Dorothy's! All product photos used in this website were recently taken on-site in Dorothy's kitchen. What you see here, is truly what you get!

Why Hand-Crafted Chocolate?

We believe hand-dipped chocolates taste better. There are a number of reasons for this. For one, we are able to use a richer chocolate. Our chocolate, genuine Swiss, is too rich for machines. It may gunk up the works. Besides, we're here to please people -- not machines.

In addition, the chocolate coating on hand-dipped chocolate is much thicker. You get more chocolate in each and every pound.

Also, our hand-crafted chocolates are made at exactly the right temperature. This process gives Dorothy's that special snap -- a hallmark of fine gourmet chocolate.

Why hand-dipped chocolates? One bite and you'll know!

What is Swiss Chocolate?

Dorothy's Candies is proud to be the only Swiss Chocolatier in Western Pennsylvania! Simply put, Swiss Chocolate is the best! Swiss chocolate is higher in chocolate solids than most other types of chocolates -- that means it contains more chocolate liquor, for better taste. It also contains more coco butter -- for richer, creamier texture.

That's why Dorothy's chocolates have a phenomenal "mouth feel" -- meaning the texture and smoothness are just right. Swiss is a thicker chocolate, more difficult to work with, but worth the trouble! There is also traditionally less sugar proportunately in Swiss chocolate. Sugar is cheaper than chocolate -- and used in higher portions in cheaper chocolate to cover up the flavor. With Dorothy's, the flavor that lingers is that of chocolate-- not of sugar.

What are the Hallmarks of Fine Chocolate?

First, a great box of chocolate must be aromatic. A sweet, tantalizing aroma should permeate the air as soon as the box is opened.

Next, check the color. It should be a deep, dark, clear brown. Most machine made chocolates come in a nice box, but that doesn't enhance the taste at all.

Now, test the bite. Chocolates should be hard enough to snap when bitten or broken. It should also feel smooth in your mouth - with no gritty bits.

That leads us to texture. It should be hard, and smooth. There should be no wax additives to make it sticky or pasty. It should never be soft and gooey.

Taste is the ultimate test. Fine chocolate should not be too sweet. Some manufacturers add sugar to make up for a flavor that is less chocolatey. Dorothy's chocolates have very little sugar added. We believe in letting the chocolate speak for itself.

Aftertaste - Like a fine wine, a fine chocolate has a lingering flavor. You don't need to stuff yourself with Dorothy's chocolates to know that you're eating fine chocolate. This lingering flavor helps to satisfy your chocolate craving.

Last, check the box again. How many chocolates are left? None? Now that's the sign of fine chocolates.

One bite and you'll know!


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